The look of Bodiam Castle is exactly how most individuals imagine a medieval fort should look like

Bodiam Castle is located beside the River Rother in East Sussex.

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On my visit to the castle I took time wanting at the flowing river which was not as I anticipated. The river seems to have gotten smaller through the years, irrigation. The river would of had to be wider prior to now for boats to past. But because the years have past the river has been over grown and shrunk.

A veteran of King Edward III’s wars built the fort in the late 14th century with France, originally as a coastal defence.

In 1385, Sir Edward Dalyngrygge was given permission to fortify his house against invasion from France, however then decided to construct a new stone fort a brief distance away from the home. What may be seen at present is a relatively small, picturesque building that symbolises the movement from traditional medieval fort to comfortable manor home.

Bodiam is a powerful fort with seventeen towers, machicolated parapets, arrow slits and gun loops.

The picture to the left enables you to see the water gate between the 2 towers. Arrow slits can be seen clearly positioned all round the castle particularly on the towers for views throughout the castle.

The image to the left exhibits a gun loop. When I visited the location I was able to go and see by way of the gun loops and I seen that the view from them was very restricted. It had a thick-rimmed edge that may have made shooting at an angle very troublesome.

I don’t think they might have been utilized in battle and that they were there purely for show.

The drawbridge that might have been there however has rotted away would have been raised by beams above the gate. A good defence for a fort together with the entrance door itself. Heavily studded with iron bolts, got here to be placed in a massive gatehouse.

In the image to left the door can be seen.

With an virtually sq. construction, Bodiam Castle has a notable symmetry and is surrounded by a wide moat. The moat was created from a synthetic lake, which, in flip, originated from allowing the river to circulate into an oblong space of marshy land. The moat surrounding the castle adds to deco and elegance of the fort.

The picture beneath shows the moat at its greatest.

The fortifications have been by no means examined to any diploma, although in the course of the Civil War the inside of the fort was nearly gutted. After surrendering, Bodiam Castle was then left to deteriorate till the early 20th century.

The building of Bodiam Castle seems to have been a perfect combination of medieval defence methods and remarkably comfortable lodging, creating a magnificent fortified building in an idyllic rural location.

Bodiam citadel was constructed as a courtyard castle.

The plan below illustrates the fort as it was initially.

The exterior partitions are adorned with three household crests implying a home of such families.

Shown to the left are the crests.

Bodiam appears so good and picturesque; this may not be by chance for many individuals have debated whether the fort was really constructed as a defensive fortress or as an elaborate stately home.

Inside ornamental windows, fireplaces and ledges show the fort was used as a home for folks of the time.

The picture to the left is a chapel window; you can nonetheless see the artwork on the body.

The within the castle contained three kitchens, an excellent hall and the well.


To the best you can see the well; the only source of clean water. On the subsequent page minimize away 1 on shows the traditional medieval plan. The corridor is proven furnished with stripped hangings and a tiled flooring. These are each traits of rich interiors of the time. Cut away 2 shows a reconstruction of the inner residences within the east range. It exhibits the rooms decorated with “varying richness” to replicate their significance.

The footage are from the National trust Bodiam Castle guide.

Source A tells me that Bodiam castle was constructed as a “dual purpose” castle. I would agree with this as I have seen proof of this at the castle itself. I saw kitchens, stables and bedrooms. The source continues to say that each residences of the fort in addition to the troopers could have used these services. “Both the lord and his bailiff have been knights… so may a solider be a steward and a castle a house”. This indicates that source A doesn’t take sides to whether it was a army built citadel or domestic built fort. According to supply A Bodiam fort was “dual purpose” fort helping each the residences and troopers.

Source A suggests “the hallmark of the late 14th Century planner”. From my previous analysis on castles the thought is supported by the concept of a courtyard castle being an integrated plan, which solves the home and navy drawback in a single architectural conception. If you look back to web page three you will see the courtyard fort plan. The proof from the location that helps this is the format of the fort, all proven within the footage on page 5. They include the kitchens, stables, chapel and bedrooms.

According to supply B the castle only looked defensive from the outside. The interior was extra domestic. Proving the castle was almost a fake, misleading. A good cover up for outsiders. Source B additionally suggests that it was purely “tongue-in-cheek-bluff”, but when this have been true why would there be murder holes and other defensive features within the fort. The only reply to this is that they had been constructed for use as a precaution if wanted.

Source A says it was constructed for a “military role” then goes on to say “nevertheless” it was a “house fortified”. This backs up the “dual purpose” phrase used in the direction of the end of the source. Source B says “inadequacy of the defences”. Both showing completely different opinions.

I feel that having visited the fort supply B is speaking concerning the south facet, which clearly isn’t defended as properly as the north. Unlike the north side the south aspect of the fort doesn’t have the identical amount of defence e.g. there isn’t any drawbridge or any defensive options to prevent assaults from abroad.

The sources are different and the opinions seem obvious as supply A was written a long time ago, 1964 by a reliable, specialised person a part of the Royal Archaeological Institute. Source B was written much later in 1995, by a good journal for “History today”. The writer may have exaggerated his biast opinion to get the readers more excited about visiting the citadel right now.

Evidence from the National Trust booklet and from what I noticed at the website I would say that there are roughly the same amount of options for both military and domestic options in the citadel. Of which some are linked indirectly for example, the household crests (shown on web page 4) are each home as they present the family name of who is staying in the citadel and likewise army because it could be the soldiers crest image that represents them. Another instance of the options being linked is the kitchens. The army role would be that there were 3 in complete as it could probably be they were to small to cater for all the troopers however the domestic role can be that there were three separates kitchens for the royalty in the citadel i.e. the lords then one kitchen for the soldiers and the other for the servants to prepare dinner in.

Definite military options that can not be questioned are the, arrow slits, gun loops, drawbridge, right-angled entrance, barbican, machicolations, crenellations, thick doors, drop holes, thick partitions and the portcullis.

The picture to the left exhibits the (murder) drop holes.

Distinct home options embrace, ornamental windows, the good hall, chivalry, chimneys, excessive ceilings and the fireplaces.

Below is shown the excessive ceilings of which are decorated superbly.

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